They came without warning and the invasion began.
In less than a year, over 80% of all life on Earth was eradicated.
It has been almost a year since the invaders first appeared. One day, a fleet of aircrafts from unknown origin appeared in Earth’s atmosphere and within seconds of arrival, the chaos began. Alien beings landed on our planet and massacred every living creature on the planet. To this day no one knows what the invaders want or what brought them to Earth. All we know is that they are highly advanced and intelligent creatures who show no mercy. Even humanity’s deadliest weapons barely did any damage.
The planet suffered devastating and irreparable damage; worse than humans had ever inflicted. After watching countless people die, starving and running for so long I find myself in a dream or maybe I’m dead. Afterall, there was no way any of it could be real! It was impossible for me to be in a moving vehicle. They were all destroyed, abandoned or final resting places. There was no way so many humans would be together in one place; I can’t even remember the last time I saw another “living” human. And yet, it all felt so real; the vibrations of the engine, the cold, cracked pleather cushioning my body.
It is night-time, I know because it is too dangerous to travel during the day. Only after the sun goes down do the invaders cease all activity. After my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could deduce the vehicle was most likely a large truck. There were no windows, only vents for air to flow through. I could roughly make out the shape of about a dozen other passengers sitting in the rows in front of me. Looking at them, it’s likely the pairs are related to each other as parent and child. All except me; I was alone, I had been for a long time. My parents and siblings died only a few days after the invasion began. Aside from the six pairs of civilians, there were other humans onboard the truck; from their stance and weapons, it wasn’t hard to deduce they come from a military of some kind. Although it was impossible to determine if they were friend or foe.
While I was trying to think, the truck began to slow down. The squeak of the brakes signaled the truck to a stop. Outside the truck, two men spoke in muffled voices, before the truck started again, slower this time. Only seconds later the suspenseful silence was replaced by innumerable sounds and voices. Light streamed through the air vent before the heavy doors at the rear of the truck were flung open by another young man dressed as a soldier.
Everything happened so fast after that. The dozen frightened passengers and I were taken from the truck and led to a large pitched tent only a few feet away. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing; humans, so many humans. My body moved on its own, following the two soldiers in front of me. I could barely hear what they were saying, my brain was too busy trying to process the unbelievable situation I had found myself in. One of the soldiers asked for my name; I had to think for a moment before answering. It had been a long time since anyone called me by my name. Then I remembered my name, Anisa. I can’t remember what happened after that.
When I woke up, two weeks had already passed and I was living among humans again.
After waking up, tears blurred my vision when I realised it was not a dream.
The Camp operated like a military base; everyone had a role to play, even children were assigned manageable tasks. After regaining their strength (mental and physical), each individual was assessed to determine what department they would be assigned to. Each department had specific duties; Military, Medical, Strategy, Engineering, Maintenance, Agriculture to name a few. Individuals who possessed basic combat skills, strength and nerve were appointed to the military.
To be deemed worthy soldiers, cadets endured arduous and back-breaking training. Each day from sunrise to sunset they learned close combat, weaponry (target practice), tactical training and endurance trials. The ruthless instructors pushed them beyond their limits and left the cadets exhausted, bruised and beaten.
However, it was still better than wandering aimlessly, alone and waiting for death.
For the first time since the invasion, I felt my life had purpose.
After six months of gruelling training, cadets were tested in each field of their training to determine which squadron they would be assigned to. With each cadet assigned to a squadron, one last test remained for cadets to graduate to full-fledged soldiers.
After graduating, cadets assigned to the Gunner squad would be deployed to the battlefield so they needed to experience the hellish reality of war and the devastation of the invasion .
After everything I experienced before being brought to the Camp, I doubted there was anything I couldn’t face.
The Gunner squad used Survival Games for the final exam. Survival Games tested each cadet’s capabilities. How each cadet performed in the Survival Games decided where they would rank within the squadron. The lowest ranked cadets were unfit to be soldiers and would be assigned tasks within the camp instead of entering the battlefield.
The Camp was hidden in the crevice of a mountain surrounded by desert, completely void of any other civilisation. That made it the perfect safe haven as the Invaders focused on places with dense populations like cities and towns. For that reason, the Survival Games were held in a restricted area of the desert with unpredictable weather and harsh terrain.
Two days before the Survival Games took place, the Gunner cadets were granted access to the artillery warehouse. As the warehouse stored valuable artefacts and precious ammunission, it was closely guarded by A-rank gunners. The cadets needed to choose weapons, artillery and other equipment suitable for battle.
When the heavy iron doors opened, the warehouse was far from what I imagined; the warehouse resembled a scrap yard. Weapons, equipment and other materials were piled into unorderly heaps. It would be impossible to find anything within two days!
Within the two days, the cadets were able to explore the warehouse and choose whatever weapons and supplies they wanted; keeping in mind they needed to be able to store and carry their own equipment. Unknown to the young recruits, their entry to the warehouse signaled the beginning of the Survival Games. Their ability to judge equipment and identify necessary supplies was being assessed. In addition, they were being tested on whether they chose weapons suited to their abilities.
After selecting their weapons and supplies, the cadets were posted in the restricted zone to face the main and final test – the Survival Games. Twentyone flags were posted within the restricted zone. To pass the Survival Games, each cadet needed to retrieve three flags and make their way to the designated point marked on the map provided to them. Out of the ten Gunner cadets, at least three would fail the Survival Games.
In the unpredictable restricted zone, the cadets needed to use everything they learned to survive. As well as their aptitude as a Gunner, the cadets were being tested on their ability to find shelter, hunt, camouflage, set traps and orientation. At all times, the cadets needed to keep their guard up as they were competing against each other.
- The first cadet to complete the Survival Games receives a C-rank gun and other special rewards.
- There are several different gunner groups such as Snippers, Assault, Submachine, Ambush, etc